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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Giving Away Books. Honestly.

The program for Hillstead Publishing of giving complimentary books to Bloggers, with no catches, is going well.

Michael Allen of the excellent literary blog, Grumpy Old Bookman, today wrote on the project, noting how unusual it is for an established book to be given freely in its physical form, and to bloggers also. In the comments, Lynne W Scanlon, of The Publishing Contrarian seemed to misunderstand, confusing this project with the common unsolicted mass giveaways of advance or preview copies to reviewers, a practice that ultimately floods the used-book and online markets with unwanted 'new' books.

Living the Artist's Life   was published in 2004 and is currently in its 2nd printing. It has been reviewed many times by publications all over the US, and by readers on Amazon. This Free Books for Bloggers project, is a promotion certainly, but with no requirement for reviews, links, or blogposts it is more of a promotion in conversation that has more in common with BookCrossing than what Lynne described in a Publishers Weekly column last year as flooding the market with ARCs (Advance Review Copies).

Rick Bruner of Business Blog Consulting gets it, being a fan of free stuff as PR, especially for bloggers, and "particularly when you’re transparent that there are no explict expectations". And he was happy that I credited/blamed Hugh MacLeod and his 'Marketing Disruption'

Good Morning from East Hampton, NY, Liam. Thanks for linking up!

It's not that I mind giving away books. Book Crossing makes me smile.(Actually, I was given a dollar back in change in New York City last year and noticed it was stamped with a website address where you could log the dollar and see where it had been. It was fascinating to see how that dollar had moved around New England.) I'm sure if someone found a book on a bench and was INTERESTED in the book, he or she would pick it up and even read it. "Interested" reviewers who are interested enough to read the book is really what I'm talking about when it comes to free review copies. Free Books for Bloggers is fine, but note you have to have been blogging for three months to qualify to receive one. And you have to request the book. (Smart marketing!) Only people interested in the subject matter will bother to fill out the form and "ask" for the book. (That's good!) I didn't ask for the free copy. Not my kind of book. (No offense to the author!)

PS Check yesterday's posting on my website. It's about stopping the flood of returns from bookstores. There's a subject that drives me crazy.
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